The 60th annual Pataskala Street Fair is expected to attract 8,000 to 10,000 people to Main Street (state Route 310) in downtown Pataskala from Aug. 19-22, according to Mayor Mike Compton.

The 60th annual Pataskala Street Fair is expected to attract 8,000 to 10,000 people to Main Street (state Route 310) in downtown Pataskala from Aug. 19-22, according to Mayor Mike Compton.

"That's Pataskala's claim to fame," Compton said. "We've been doing this for so long. There always have been rumors about moving it but nobody seems to complain about that any more.

"It benefits not only the businesses in town but also our West Licking Firefighters Association, which raises money for the support truck and the Jaws of Life, equipment the department needs."

For the street fair, Main Street is closed between the railroad tracks and Mill Street and the route that usually carries cars and trucks between U.S. Route 40 and state Route 16 (Broad Street) is filled with rides, games and food vendors.

Local vehicles can use side streets to get around the road closure. Semi-trailers can use Etna Parkway, which connects routes 40 and 16.

"(Main Street) will close about 9 a.m. on Tuesday and has to be open by 8 a.m. Sunday," said Ron Tague, president of the West Licking Firefighters Association, which organizes the event.

Tague said the association started the street fair 60 years ago as a fundraiser for the fire department, which was a volunteer operation at the time.

When the fire department became a full-time operation with paid employees and more than one jurisdiction, the association started using proceeds to purchase equipment the department couldn't afford, he said.

Most recently, the association purchased two support-service units, which are used at the scene of situations that require firefighters to be on site for more than a routine call.

"That's our biggest expenditure, keeping those things supplied and rolling," Tague said. "The support units are kind of like extra support. They have water, coffee, hot chocolate, Gatorade and snacks. There are pop-up tents in the summer where firefighters can relax for minute and cool off. We also have a blow-up tent that is heated in winter.

"We try to keep the firemen as comfortable as possible when they are on breaks from being at a fire."

Tague said the funds from the street fair keep the support vehicles stocked and ready to go.

"It's something we have going out anywhere in county," he said. "We'll go if a department wants us. They call us and we'll go.

"If they are going to be out for an hour or more, they call for us. If the radio dispatcher marks (the call) as a working fire, we automatically go."

Compton said the street fair will open at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 19.

It will open around noon Aug. 20, 21 and 22 and will close after the entertainment is done, he said.

"Usually, it gets people who know to go down there and get a good lunch. It's the right week to try something different for lunch," Compton said. "By dinner time, the place is packed until 9, 10 or 11 at night. We're always very careful how long bands play and we've never had any issues with that stage by the railroad tracks."

Entertainment will include Wolf Pack at 8:30 p.m. Aug. 19; Johnny Pond and the Diamond Brothers at 8:30 p.m. Aug. 20; and the Bryan Lewis Band at 9 p.m. Aug. 21

Tony Rio and Relentless will close the street fair with a performance beginning at 8:30 p.m. Aug. 22.

Performances by local groups and mini tractor pulls are scheduled each day.

Tague said the firefighters association also puts together street-fair programs that are available at local businesses and will be at the association's booth. The booklets include information about the association, sponsors and events.

Compton said a few parking lots in downtown Pataskala could be used and most residents rope off private areas and driveways to avoid confusion over parking spots.

"Residents over the years have learned to rope off or caution tape off their parking in front of their house or whatever (parking) they need to use," Compton said.

"Everybody seems to get along. Last year, we only had one issue: We had to tow a car that didn't realize it was blocking a driveway and that's going to happen in the dark. But, as many people as come down there and as many houses that are impacted, it's never been a super big issue."